Sources of Iron:
Haem and Non-Haem - Meat, offal, dried fruit, red kidney beans, curry powder, cocoa, cereal products, fortified breakfast cereals.
Absorption of Iron: Non-haem - present in food as ferric iron, needs to be converted to ferrous iron (vit c); readily binds with other substances (insoluble complex formed).
Oxalates - spinach, phosphates - rhubarb, phytates - wholegrain cereals, tannins - tea.
Deficiency: Iron deficiency anaemia. Red blood cells not formed properly, less haemoglobin to transport O2. Fatigue, dizziness, irritability, headaches, difficulty in concentrating, shortness of breath during exercise, pale appearance, brittle nails, cracked lips.
Excess: RARE. Too much, stored as ferritin, leads to siderosis = heart and liver damage.